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Turkey: Six candidates to run for presidency

Turkey’s Supreme Election Board has released an unofficial candidates list for the June 24 presidential elections.

According to the list — which can be objected to until May 11 — six candidates will run for the presidency in Turkey: Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Muharrem Ince, Meral Aksener, Selahattin Demirtas, Temel Karamollaoglu and Dogu Perincek.

This April, parliament passed a bill for early elections on June 24, cementing Turkey’s move to a presidential system.

In an April 2017 referendum, Turkish voters approved the switch from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party are set to enter the June 24 parliamentary and presidential polls as an election alliance.

The MHP-AK Party alliance is supporting Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is seeking his second term as president.

Erdogan has served as president since 2014 — Turkey’s first popularly elected president. Before that, he served as prime minister from 2003 to 2014.

Should he win the June election, Erdogan would be Turkey’s first leader under the presidential system, doing away with the prime minister’s post, among other changes.

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has nominated Muharrem Ince as its presidential candidate for the June 24 early elections.

In a rally in the capital Ankara, CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu formally announced the CHP’s choice of Ince as their presidential hopeful.

The opposition IYI (Good) Party has circulated a petition to make party leader Meral Aksener their candidate in the June 24 presidential elections.

Aksener surpassed 100,000 signatures to be a presidential candidate in the upcoming elections.

On April 22, fifteen deputies from Turkey’s main opposition party CHP resigned to join the IYI Party to make it eligible to form a group in parliament.

The opposition Felicity (Saadet) Party declared its chairman, Temel Karamollaoglu, as their presidential candidate.

Karamollaoglu also surpassed 100,000 signatures to be a presidential candidate.

The opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP) announced jailed ex-chairman, Selahattin Demirtas, as its presidential candidate.

In November 2016, Demirtas together with 12 HDP lawmakers, were arrested on terror-related charges. Demirtas remains in custody pending trial.

Lastly, Dogu Perincek — chairman for Vatan Party — surpassed 100,000 votes to become eligible for being presidential candidate.

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